Best At-Home Blood Tests: A 2024 Guide (2024)

Table of Contents

  • What Are At-Home Blood Tests?
  • What Do At-Home Blood Tests Measure?
  • Top At-Home Blood Test Kits
  • Pros and Cons of At-Home Blood Tests
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Technological advances and a growing awareness of the importance of self-care have made at-home blood tests increasingly accessible in recent years. At-home blood tests—which allow you to monitor your health without visiting a doctor’s office or laboratory—use a simple finger prick to collect a small blood sample which is then sent to a lab for analysis, similar to many physician-ordered blood tests. The results are often delivered through an online platform or mobile app.

At-home tests have already changed the health care landscape and will likely continue to do so in the coming years. However, some tests are superior to others. Read on to learn more about the best at-home blood tests on the market and what they offer in terms of convenience, speed and affordability.

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Everlywell HbA1c Test

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  • Test takes a look at your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months
  • Measures hemoglobin sugar levels
  • Finger prick sample collection
  • Physician reviewed results
  • CLIA certified labs

On Everlywell's Website

What Are At-Home Blood Tests?

At-home blood tests are self-administered tests that can be done in the comfort of your own home. These tests typically require a small blood sample, which you can collect using a finger prick similar to those used to check blood sugar levels or hemoglobin A1c.

After collecting your blood sample, you’ll typically send it to the designated lab for analysis and wait for the results. Depending on the test and company, results may take between two and 14 days. Most at-home testing companies deliver your results via a secure online portal you can access with a unique login and password.

The Purpose of At-Home Blood Tests

“At-home testing kits are valuable tools for screening several conditions conveniently outside traditional healthcare settings,” says Donald Karcher, M.D., president of the College of American Pathologists and professor at the Department of Pathology at George Washington University Medical Center.

Many companies offer comprehensive panels that include tests for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormone imbalances, inflammation, allergies and other common conditions.

At-home blood tests can provide insights into your health and may also help monitor conditions that might require routine testing or treatment, like diabetes. Additionally, these tests may be convenient for those with limited access to care, such as those living in rural areas or who lack reliable transportation to and from in-office appointments.

However, it’s important to note that at-home blood tests shouldn’t replace comprehensive medical exams or in-person care. While these tests may provide health insights, they aren’t designed to interpret complex health issues, provide diagnoses or determine treatment. Additionally, there’s not enough scientific evidence available to determine these tests’ true accuracy and reliability, especially compared to traditional testing done by an experienced phlebotomist (a medical professional trained to draw blood).

Always talk to your doctor about your health concerns and have them review your results to provide further explanation and guidance.

What Do At-Home Blood Tests Measure?

“These tests are particularly helpful for monitoring blood sugar levels in diabetes and looking at cholesterol levels, determining thyroid gland function and detecting infections like COVID, flu, HIV or hepatitis,” explains Dr. Karcher.

Some common at-home blood tests include:

  • Cholesterol and lipid panel: Measures total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels
  • Hemoglobin A1c: Measures average blood sugar levels over the last three months
  • Thyroid panel: Measures thyroid hormone levels, including TSH, T3 and T4
  • Vitamin deficiencies: Checks for low levels of certain nutrients in the body
  • Hormone panel: Measures various hormones such as testosterone and estrogen
  • Allergies or intolerances: Identifies sensitivities to food or environmental allergens
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Screens for common STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Fertility panel: Measures hormones that affect fertility in both men and women

A certain test may measure one or a dozen different markers for that particular condition or concern. The best at-home blood tests explain each marker’s meaning and how it may impact your health.

Top At-Home Blood Test Kits

These products were reviewed and approved by Niraj Patel, D.O, a Forbes Health Advisory Board member.

Everlywell Women’s Health Test

Best At-Home Blood Tests: A 2024 Guide (5)
  • Price: $249
  • Collection method: Finger prick and saliva
  • Time to get results: Within five to seven days

On Everlywell's Website

Why We Picked It

LetsGetChecked Micronutrient Test

Best At-Home Blood Tests: A 2024 Guide (7)
  • Price: $179
  • Collection method: Finger prick
  • Time to get results: Within two to five days

On LetsGetChecked's Website

myLAB Box At Home Indoor Outdoor Allergy Test

Best At-Home Blood Tests: A 2024 Guide (9)
  • Price: $199
  • Collection method: Finger prick
  • Time to get results: Within one to five days

On myLAB BOX's Website

Why We Picked It

Everlywell Thyroid Test

Best At-Home Blood Tests: A 2024 Guide (11)
  • Price: $149
  • Collection method: Finger prick
  • Time to get results: Within five to seven days

On Everlywell's Website

Why We Picked It

myLAB Box At Home Cholesterol Test

Best At-Home Blood Tests: A 2024 Guide (13)
  • Price: $89
  • Collection method: Finger prick
  • Time to get results: Within two to five days

On myLAB BOX's Website

Why We Picked It

Pros and Cons of At-Home Blood Tests

Many companies that offer at-home blood tests utilize Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) or College of American Pathologist (CAP)-certified labs to process samples. This means that the labs that process at-home blood test samples must adhere to certain guidelines and standards for training, equipment, quality control and result interpretation.

Purchasing an at-home blood test from a company that utilizes CLIA or CAP-certified labs can increase the likelihood of receiving accurate results. However, more research is needed to get a better understanding of the accuracy and reliability of home-based testing.

Consider the following pros and cons before opting for an at-home blood test:

Pros

  • Convenience: At-home tests allow you to collect and return your sample based on your schedule without making appointments or visiting a lab in person.
  • Privacy: Some people may feel more comfortable performing tests in the privacy of their home rather than in a doctor’s office.
  • Cost-savings: At-home tests may be cheaper than paying out-of-pocket for a doctor’s visit and lab work. However, many insurance companies cover or pay a portion of lab testing at in-network facilities. Check with your insurance provider for coverage options.
  • Health insights: At-home blood tests may offer a look into your overall health and help monitor conditions that require ongoing care.

Cons:

  • False positives or negatives: At-home blood tests aren’t 100% accurate and may sometimes provide inaccurate results, leading to unnecessary stress or incorrect self-diagnosis.
  • Limited diagnostic capabilities: Home tests only screen for certain conditions or abnormalities and may not be able to detect more serious health issues, according to Dr. Karcher. Additionally, many tests don’t come with follow-up support or guidance on what to do with the results.
  • Lack of personal interaction: Home testing doesn’t offer the same level of personalization as in-person care. A thorough look at your health history, genetics and lifestyle factors can provide a more comprehensive understanding of your health, which is best done at a doctor’s office.
  • Potential for user error: At-home blood tests require proper collection and shipping, says Dr. Karcher. This is challenging for some and can lead to incorrect results or the need for a retest.

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On Everlywell's Website

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are home blood tests reliable?

How reliable an at-home blood test is depends on the quality of the test kit and how the sample is collected. Factors like contamination, improper storage or inability to follow instructions can lead to false or inaccurate results, according to Dr. Karcher. Carefully read your test kit’s instructions and return the sample within the specified time frame.

What is the best blood test to check overall health?

There isn’t one specific blood test better than others, as different tests screen for different markers and conditions. A general wellness panel, such as a complete blood count (CBC) or basic metabolic panel (BMP), provides an overview of your blood cell production, fluid and electrolyte levels and organ function.

A CBC or BMP are often “first line” tests for identifying underlying health issues like anemia or diabetes but don’t offer a complete look into your overall health. Your symptoms and health history should be considered when choosing a test.

Best At-Home Blood Tests: A 2024 Guide (2024)
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